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More Brussels jobs should be filled by locals, minister says
Incoming Brussels labour minister Bernard Clerfayt wants more Brussels jobs to be filled by locals.
Like many other European cities, Brussels has faced a skills mismatch on the labour market in recent years, with employers desperately trying to fill high-skilled positions and low-skilled jobseekers struggling to find jobs.
“Today, 51% of the 700,000 jobs in Brussels are filled by Brusselers, 49% by commuters,” said Clerfayt, until a couple of weeks ago the mayor of the Schaerbeek municipality. “Brusselers should fill more jobs in Brussels.”
Rather than calling for the creation of more jobs in the capital, Clerfayt argued in an interview with the newspaper La Dernière Heure that the competencies of unemployed locals ought to be improved. He also said that efforts should be made to facilitate the recognition of foreign diplomas, a process that currently takes several months and in some cases can cost up to €250.
Clerfayt said he wants to establish a committee responsible for determining what local diplomas are equivalent to degrees obtained abroad by assessing the competencies of locals.
At present, Brussels has an unemployment rate of 16% and an even higher youth unemployment rate of 20%.